With four victories in their last five matchups, the New York Rangers (7th in Metropolitan Division) are preparing to host the Columbus Blue Jackets (4th in Metropolitan), who have triumphed in four straight games…
Jackets Blank New JerseyA back-to-back weekender started with another shutout for the Columbus Blue Jackets (25-16-8), who ended a three-game homestand with a 5-0 blanking of the New Jersey Devils yesterday, thus recording their fourth straight victory and third shutout in the last four games. The Jackets are 14-2-4 in their previous 20 contests, currently sitting 4th in the Metropolitan Division with 58 points from 49 fixtures. They are 10-7-6 on the road for the season thus far, with Pierre-Luc Dubois leading the side with 34 points. He has also notched a team-high 15 goals alongside Zach Werenski (29 points).
Goalie Elvis Merzlikins has already made 20 appearances (18 starts) this year, picking up all three latest shutouts of the Blue Jackets. He is 8-6-4 for the current campaign with a 2.36 GAA and a .928 save percentage. Merzlikins has never faced the New York Rangers before, but is 2-2-0 against the Metropolitan Division historically with a 2.79 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Columbus, meanwhile, is 8th in least goals scored per game (2.69), 3rd in least goals allowed on average (2.53), 23rd in power play (17.2%) and 9th in penalty kill (82.3%).
Rangers Beat Isles TwiceTwo straight victories against the New York Islanders (6-2 in Manhattan; 3-2 on Long Island) have brought the New York Rangers (23-19-4) straight back into the game after the team dropped a 5-2 decision versus the St. Louis Blues last Saturday. With that, the Blueshirts have now gone 4-1-0 in their past five matchups after posting a three-game losing run prior (0-3-0). They are 7th in the Metropolitan Division with 50 points from 46 outings, boasting a 13-8-2 home record. Artemi Panarin leads the team with 26 goals and 68 points.
"In a lot of ways, this is bigger than anything we've done up to this point - this game is bigger than any game we've played, if not bigger."— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 18, 2020
Coach previews tomorrow's matchup vs. the Blue Jackets: pic.twitter.com/AjAfY2AEVq
With 21 starts and 22 overall appearances so far this year, goalie Alexandar Georgiev has gone 12-9-1 for the ongoing campaign with a 3.06 GAA and a .913 save percentage. He has recorded a 2-1-1 career total against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 3.66 GAA and a .910 save percentage. The Rangers, meanwhile, are scoring the 6th highest quantity of goals per game (3.37), while conceding the 6th highest bulk in their defensive zone (3.28). They are 10th in power play (21.0%) and 19th in penalty kill (79.3%).
Columbus (according to Covers.com)
- Blue Jackets are 5-1 in their last 6 meetings with Rangers in New York.
- Blue Jackets are 7-1 in their last 8 games as an underdog.
NY Rangers (according to Covers.com)
- Rangers are 7-19 in their last 26 Sunday games.
- Rangers are 6-13 in their last 19 games playing on 2 days rest.